EXCLUSIVE: Anderson Cooper wants to co-host 'Live! with Kelly,' but executives are 'hesitant' to move forward

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Anderson Cooper Calls Co-Hosting 'Live! with Kelly' 'Exhausting'

Anderson Cooper is definitely interested in being Kelly Ripa's co-host on Live!, but both ABC and CNN are "hesitant," sources tell ET.

Cooper has made it clear to executives that he would like to do both Live! and his nightly CNN show, Anderson Cooper 360, if offered the chance, our sources say. The 48-year-old CNN anchor was eyed as a frontrunner to replace Michael Strahan on the longrunning morning show almost immediately after Strahan first announced his exit in April.

However, a deal is complicated given this year's presidential elections, and Cooper's big role in covering politics for CNN.

WATCH: Anderson Cooper Guest Co-Hosts 'Live! With Kelly' for First Time Since Michael Strahan's Exit

CNN will be "all in" for the 2016 election and doesn't want its main talent to have its loyalties split, sources tell ET, though the network's executives aren't ruling out Cooper's wishes.

Cooper also needs to win over the ABC bosses, who aren't totally sold on the news anchor just yet, according to our sources. While producers recognize Ripa and Cooper's "natural chemistry," there is concern over his failed daytime talk show, Anderson, which was canceled after two seasons in 2013.

"There are others they have their eye on," one source says.

However, one person we do know who isn't interested is former View co-host Sherri Shepherd. Although a report claimed ABC is eyeing Shepherd for the high-profile gig, a source close to the 49-year-old comedian tells ET this is "not true at all."

"Sherri has maintained all along that she is pulling for T.J. Holmes from Good Morning America to get the gig," the source says. "She thinks he's fantastic."

Cooper guest co-hosted with Ripa for the first time since Strahan's exit on Wednesday, when the two pals showed their comfortable chemistry. They even adorably attempted to samba together prior to interviewing "Rhythm is Gonna Get You" singer Gloria Estefan.

#😂 The Rhythm got to him!!! #AndersonCooper #LiveKelly #LiveKellyCohost #OnYourFeet #TriviaDancer

A video posted by LIVE with Kelly (@livekelly) on

Cooper addressed all the Live! rumors in April, during his appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live!

"Look, I'm very happy at CNN," Cooper answered cautiously when a caller brought up the reports. "It would be a dream to work with Kelly, but nobody's offering anything."

And it looks like even other potential Live! co-hosts are aware of Cooper's frontrunner status. Last month, a source exclusively told ET that ABC was in talks with Rob Lowe for the gig, but Lowe told us he didn't want to compete against the popular CNN anchor when we recently caught up with the 52-year-old actor on the set of his upcoming film, How to Be a Latin Lover.

"Listen, man, I don't want to go up against Anderson Cooper," Lowe joked. "I don't know if I'm going to go back as an actual guest host [on Live!] yet. ... You never know! You never know."

WATCH: Kelly Ripa Steps Out With Anderson Cooper's New Book, Hinting at Her Next 'Live!' Co-Host?

Still, the former Grinder star didn't completely rule the job out.

"I hosted it with Kelly and had the time of my life," he commented on his previous Live! co-hosting experiences. "I love her ... I love being able to talk to an audience every morning like that and just being fun, counter-punching, being silly, and talking about cool stuff."

Watch above.

Check out more from Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper in the gallery below.

12 PHOTOS
Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper together
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EXCLUSIVE: Anderson Cooper wants to co-host 'Live! with Kelly,' but executives are 'hesitant' to move forward
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Episode 679 -- Pictured: (l-r) Kelly Ripa, Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Endymion grand marshals Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa toast in front of Gallier Hall in the 2011 Krewe Of Endymion Parade on March 6, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/WireImage)
Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper host ABC's 'Live with Regis and Kelly' on June 4, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS SPECIAL RATES APPLY; NO NORTH AMERICAN ON-AIR BROADCAST UNTIL MARCH 1, 2012) Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa attend the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF12/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Anderson Cooper, Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan attend 2013 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute at The American Museum of Natural History on November 19, 2013 in New York City. 24079_013_0114.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 19: Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper attend 2013 CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute at The American Museum of Natural History on November 19, 2013 in New York City. 24079_014_1006.JPG (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 09: Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper speak on stage at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards In New York on May 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for GLAAD)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 17: (L-R) Kelly Ripa, Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper attend CNN Heroes 2015 - Show at American Museum of Natural History on November 17, 2015 in New York City. 25619_022 (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN)
Journalist Anderson Cooper, left, and television presenter Kelly Ripa toss beads to revelers while riding on a float in the Krewe of Endymion Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Sunday, March 6, 2011. Mardi Gras season ends with an all-day celebration on Tuesday, March 8. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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